If you need a light-duty handheld vacuum cleaner, you might consider the ThisWorx 12V. Car vacuums have many styles, varieties, and price points, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy.
The ThisWorx car vacuum functions as its name implies (it works), but is it the best car vacuum for your vehicle? We tested this vacuum for suction power, maneuverability, ease of maintenance, and versatility to determine its strengths and drawbacks.
ThisWorx Car Vacuum Overview And Features
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Power: 12.0 volts
- Tank Capacity: About 8.0 ounces
- Power Source: Car auxiliary power outlet (cigarette lighter)
- Cord Length: 16.0-foot cord
- Wet or Dry: Dry only
- Cost: $31.78*
*Price accurate at time of publication
What’s In The Box?
The ThisWorx 12V Car Vacuum connects to your car’s auxiliary power outlet via a charger cord attached to the base of the vacuum. In addition to the vacuum itself, the ThisWorx 12V includes:
- Flexible hose nozzle
- Narrow tube nozzle
- Brush nozzle
- Carrying/storage bag
- Filter cleaning brush
- Spare HEPA filter
Because of the vacuum’s low suction power, the flexible hose nozzle is not that useful. It’s also worth noting that the vacuum and all the attachments don’t fit easily into the storage bag.
What We Like About The ThisWorx Car Vacuum
The ThisWorx car vacuum is highly maneuverable and incredibly easy to maintain. This car vacuum is also easy to use and easy to store, making it ideal for picking up small messes in your car as they occur.
Because the ThisWorx plugs into your car’s 12V outlet, there’s no need to charge a battery, and you don’t need access to an outlet or an extension cord to use this vacuum. You can store it in your trunk or glove box and forget about it until you need it.
Maneuverability: 4 out of 5
This vacuum utilizes an ergonomic design that is small and lightweight. Because it plugs into your car directly, there’s no need to maneuver it around the outside of your car as you would with a larger shop vac-style car vacuum.
The only feature that hinders the mobility of this vacuum is its power cord. While the cord is long enough to reach most back seats, it may be challenging to reach every part of your vehicle if you have a minivan or third-row seating. You also may not be able to reach the trunk of your vehicle if it’s not accessible from inside the car – unless you happen to have a cigarette lighter in your trunk.
Ease of Maintenance: 4.5 out of 5
The small size of the ThisWorx 12V makes it easy to store, and the included carrying case can help keep all the accessories in one place. The carrying bag doesn’t fit the vacuum and every accessory easily. However, you may opt to make more space by not using the extended hose attachment since it’s not very useful, anyway.
Cleaning the ThisWorx 12V is simple – the front of the vacuum pops off so you can empty it into the trash. The filter is easily accessible and dustable with the included brush.
What We Don’t Like About The ThisWorx Car Vacuum
The ThisWorx car vacuum doesn’t have the suction power or versatility of larger car vacuums. While this vacuum is good for minor messes, it’s not ideal for big jobs or major spills. This vacuum lacks the wet vac function of a more expensive model and doesn’t have the suction power to pick up every type of car debris.
Suction Power: 3 out of 5
No 12V vacuum is going to have an especially powerful suction. If you plan to deep clean your entire vehicle, we don’t recommend using the ThisWorx 12V. It may be able to pick up most crumbs, but it lacks the power and speed to clean deeply embedded messes.
In our tests, the ThisWorx 12V managed to pick up crumbs and glitter fairly well but couldn’t pull embedded pet fur from our cloth mat. Plus, even for the crumbs that it can pick up, it cleans much more slowly than a high-power vacuum.
Versatility: 3 out of 5
This vacuum is a good option to keep in your vehicle for quick cleanups, but it can’t do much more. The low suction power hampers its versatility, making it a poor choice for deep cleans and stuck-in debris.
Additionally, accessories like the filter brush and other parts of the cleaning kit feel very cheap. And while the manufacturer does offer a warranty, it doesn’t seem to offer anything more than basic replacement services similar to other retailers.
ThisWorx Car Vacuum Reviews
Amazon Review Score: 4 out of 5 based on over 200,000 reviews
Most reviewers mention the same pros and cons that our team noticed – the vacuum is convenient and works well for small cleans but offers minimal suction strength.
Positive ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
Satisfied reviewers often note that the ThisWorx 12V is small, convenient, and gets the job done. There are also customers who praise the seller’s customer service and willingness to replace defective vacuums.
“Not as powerful as a commercial vacuum, but if you are one to stay on top of a vehicle’s appearance, this does a good job of doing so.”
– ReviewerViewer via Amazon
“Company reached out to me as I was unhappy with [the] product. Sent a replacement, which works way better than the first one.”
– Deedee via Amazon
Negative ThisWorx Car Vacuum Reviews
Aside from the low suction power, one issue some reviewers note is that the power cord can get hot after long use. In some cases, the plug has even melted. This only seems to be the case with a few defective models, but more than one reviewer has had this happen. It’s worth noting that if the ThisWorx 12V malfunctions, the sellers seem willing to replace the vacuum if notified.
“It did pick up some dirt out of my car, but it struggled to pick up dog hair.”
– Jessica Lambert via Amazon
“I used it for a second time in May, again for 10 minutes, and the plug actually melted in my cigarette lighter! The cheap plastic at the end is all gone.”
– I. Boral via Amazon
How Do I Choose A Car Vacuum?
Before choosing a car vacuum, consider your car cleaning needs:
- How often do you vacuum your car?
- What kind of debris do you need to clean up?
- How dirty does your car interior get?
- What type of upholstery is your vehicle equipped with?
- Should I use a mini vacuum or a shop vac?
- How is the vacuum powered: By rechargeable batteries, a car outlet, or a power outlet?
- Does the vacuum come with attachments to clean nooks and crannies?
- What type of filter systems does the vacuum use? Are there washable filters?
If you generally keep a clean car and don’t vacuum it often, you may want a low-cost, portable option such as the ThisWorx 12V. Suppose you clean your car regularly and need something that can handle heavy messes, consider the DeWalt DXV08S. If you want a battery-powered car vac, consider the Milwaukee 0880-20.
ThisWorx Car Vacuum Testing Process
Our review team has tested several best-selling car vacuum cleaners, including the ThisWorx 12V. We evaluated each vacuum based on the following categories:
- Suction Power: A vacuum’s suction strength can make or break its effectiveness in cleaning your vehicle. While you need only minimal suction to pick up dirt and crumbs, only a high-powered vacuum can remove deeply embedded animal fur. We tested the ThisWorx 12V’s ability to remove chips, glitter, and dog hair from a cloth floor mat.
- Maneuverability: A good car vacuum should be designed to easily maneuver through your entire vehicle and reach every crevice. We put the ThisWorx car vacuum to a practical test by cleaning a sedan front to back.
- Ease of Maintenance: An important factor to consider in a car vacuum is how easily you can clean and empty it. We serviced the ThisWorx car vacuum after use and rated it based on its disassembly and cleaning process. Maintenance also includes storage, so we considered whether the vacuum and its accessories store well in this category.
- Versatility: We used the ThisWorx 12V throughout all parts of our test car to evaluate its ability to pick up different types of matter on various surfaces, including rubber floor mats, fabric floor mats, seats, and the center console.
Our Take On The ThisWorx Car Vacuum: 4 Stars
The ThisWorx 12V is a portable car vacuum that’s handy to keep in your car for light use. While this bestseller is easy to use, store, and maintain, it lacks enough suction power to deep clean your car, especially if you’re dealing with pet fur.
|Our Rating||4 out of 5|
|Ease of Maintenance||4.5|
We recommend purchasing the ThisWorx 12V if you need a car vacuum for small crumbs, want to easily store a vacuum in your trunk, and wish to avoid doing much maintenance. Don’t buy the ThisWorx 12V if you need a high-powered vacuum suitable for detailing or removing pet hair.
If you want something with strong suction strength, consider the Dewalt DXV08S or the Milwaukee 0880-20 (for a cordless vacuum option). For deeper cleans, see our takes on the best car carpet cleaners and air fresheners.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
ThisWorx Car Vacuum: FAQ
*Data accurate at time of publication.